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Long Island man indicted for alleged $1M theft from special-needs camp

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A Long Island man was arraigned Tuesday on felony larceny charges after a grand jury indicted him for allegedly stealing more than $1 million intended for a special-needs program.

Drew Morgan, 42, pleaded not guilty to charges of first-degree grand larceny and three counts of second-degree grand larceny. He was released on a $240,000 bond, which he had initially posted following his arrest last year. Morgan declined to comment as he left the courtroom.

Prosecutors charge Morgan used his leadership position – as treasurer and a board member at a nonprofit group – to embezzle more than $1 million from Camp ANCHOR, a special-needs program for children and adults in Lido Beach. Morgan was arrested in October 2013 for the alleged theft from a nonprofit fund that was set up to pay for the construction of a recreation center named for three counselors who died in a car crash. A spokesman for the Nassau County district attorney’s office said investigators recently discovered Morgan allegedly stole an additional $73,500 from the fund – making the alleged theft total $1,159,953.

Camp ANCHOR, according to authorities, is run by a nonprofit organization in conjunction with the Town of Hempstead. Town spokesman Mike Deery told Newsday in October that the fund was a “completely independent” endeavor from the town. He did not immediately respond to email and telephone messages requesting comment for this story.

Prosecutors charge Morgan also stole $130,000 while serving as the president and treasurer of another group that raised money for the camp. Investigators uncovered the theft while examining his bank records after two sisters reported Morgan allegedly stole $475,000 from them while he was working as their financial planner. Prosecutors said he allegedly used the stolen cash to pay for airline travel, hotel stays and other personal expenses.

“Stealing from special needs children is one of the most callous kinds of theft imaginable,” Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice said. Morgan’s defense lawyer, Gary Farrell, declined to comment after the court appearance Tuesday. Morgan is due back in court on Sept. 19.

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